Belfast Telegraph

Krul out to upset Van Gaal

Tim Krul is hoping to pile the pressure on his former international boss Louis van Gaal as Newcastle attempt to dent Manchester United's bid for a top-four finish.

The 26-year-old Holland keeper, who played under Van Gaal at last summer's World Cup in Brazil, has huge respect for his compatriot.

However, having kept just a second Barclays Premier League clean sheet in seven attempts since his return from injury in Saturday's 1-0 win over struggling Aston Villa at St James' Park, he is hoping to get the better of the United manager when he and his team head for Tyneside on Wednesday evening.

Asked about his World Cup adventure under Van Gaal, Krul told nufcTV: "We had a great 10 weeks, I learnt a lot from him and obviously the goalkeeping coach there as well, Frans Hoek. We had a really good 10 weeks, memorable forever. I will never forget those experiences we had there.

"I am looking forward to seeing him on Wednesday - and taking three points from him. Wednesday is a massive game. They are always big, big games against Manchester United here and we are confident because they don't like coming here."

If the Magpies are to emerge with a second three-point haul inside five days, they will have to play significantly better against United than they did to claim their first home victory of 2015 at the weekend.

Indeed, Villa, who remain deep in relegation trouble, enjoyed the better of the first half and had it not been for two fine saves from Krul either side of the break, one to keep out Christian Benteke's acrobatic overhead kick and the other to block Tom Cleverley's shot with a foot, things might have turned out differently.

The keeper, who had to pick the ball out of his net on five occasions at Manchester City a week earlier, said: "That's the least we had to do, just put a proper graft in, blocks on the line, blocks on the edge.

"We just helped each other out really well and I am really proud of the team, the way we reacted after last week."

Ultimately it was Papiss Cisse's 11th goal of the season which won the match as he controlled Daryl Janmaat's cross and fired past the helpless Brad Guzan with 37 minutes gone to maintain his impressive goals-to-games ratio this season.

The Senegal international headed straight to the bench to celebrate with midfielder Jonas Gutierrez, who was back among the matchday squad for the first time in 17 months following his recovery from testicular cancer.

Cisse said: "It's very, very nice to see Jonas. I have seen him in the training ground, but in the stadium, it's not the same. I said said to him, 'welcome back', because Jonas is a big man and he is very, very important for the team."

Villa boss Tim Sherwood was understandably disappointed with a result he felt was not warranted by his team's display, but was nevertheless able to take positives.

He said: "No-one said it was going to be easy, I knew it was going to be tough and it is getting tougher as the games tick off .

"But I am not trying to take any pressure off the guys. I have said to them in there we need to put pressure on ourselves. It's important that we win football matches and we take something from every game we play.

"If they perform like that we have got more of a chance to be able to do that. I am far happier today in defeat - I know it's zero points still, but I am far happier in defeat today than I was last week because I saw an improvement, which means they are listen on the training field and they are trying to apply themselves correctly like I am telling them."


From Belfast Telegraph